The Manual of the Warrior of Light, Paulo Coelho

This is one of my hardest, most loved, most sweated works: I decided, some years ago, to illustrate Paulo Coelho’s book “The Manual of the Warrior of Light”. Just for fun, at the beginning. Then it became a challenge. To have an illustration of each page and to show them all to its writer.

I have a strange relationship with this book: when I bought it, it was not the right moment of my life for it to be red. Then, after years, I realized how many messages of strength, positivity, perseverance and faith are hidden inside of it, and for a while it became my “lucky book”, a book to open when my faith in the Universe begins lacking, and even if, of course, it doesn’t contain any answer, it’s a good friend, with all of its flaws, imperfections, and diamonds. Thanks, Paulo Coelho.

With these illustrations, I had periods of pure productivity and long moments of total stuck. After years, nights up, struggling and a lot of good time, I finished the work, and with two years more, I was contacted by Paulo Coelho in person – yes! can you believe it? – to create three videos for his social medias.

Here are all the illustration :) you can read all the book if you want :)

You can find the three videos I made, that were published by Paulo Coelho in his Twitter and Facebook pages: here, here, and here.

If you feel like, check out my Instagram page, too. Enjoy!

Prologue

The Warrior of the Light

Epilogue

Portraits

People, all of us, are a wonderful show.

Over the years, I enjoyed meeting and painting a lot of them. Finding my style, in their style :)

Two

I worked on this project when I didn’t meet Wilson, the love of my life, yet.

But, maybe, in some way, I felt he was coming in my life, soon.

Love, painted in some illustrations ;)

No Mirrors: Perspectives of a Body

This is my most intimate work. It’s a study about my body, my imperfections, my shapes, seen from my own eyes, with my own perspective, with no mirrors.

It’s a reflection about how we perceive ourselves, about how much we need something – or someone – else to see how we really are. Or maybe not.

It’s a quest, an interrogation to the soul.

Do I need a mirror to know ho my body is? Its shape, its postures, how it moves and in which directions? Do I need a mirror to know how my soul is? How good and bad, the emotions, its flaws, its story and its desires? Do I need to mirror in somebody’s else soul to see mine?

Mirrors, however, tell only a half truth. The face in the looking glass is only half the size of your actual face, merely half of what you in fact present and others see.

James Hillman, The soul’s code

In Radiohead Project

Some years ago, I started drawing and painting, self-taught. One of my first subjects was a Brandon Boyd pic: the posture, the way he kept his hand on his face, his clothes, everything inspired me. Then, thinking of a title for the artwork, a Radiohead’s title came to my mind. “Let Down”, I thought it fitted.

Two years later (and a lot of drawings, paintings and stuff later – like my moving to Rome), that so-called “Let Down” piece made me think about other titles and about visualizations, free associations of images, ideas and concepts flowing in my mind.

Here’s the project track list:

#01. Let Down

#02. Lotus Flower

#03. Optimistic

#04. How To Disappear Completely

#05. Myxomatosis

#06. Stop Whispering

#07. We Suck Young Blood

#08. Fitter Happier

#09. Bullet Proof (I Wish I Was)

#10. Street Spirit (Fade Out)

#11. Anyone Can Play Guitar

#12. Where I End And You Begin

Every artwork is pencil on paper, background in watercolor.

#01. Let Down

#02. Lotus Flower

For “Lotus Flower”, I couldn’t help thinking of the video, of the bowler hat and of Thom’s hands moving all around.

#03. Optimistic

Optimistic is the way I’m always trying to live my life, despite everything. It’s something about looking for the good inside the bad, but also about courage and control, risk, detachment from results, hope, faith, freedom, will, dreams and desire.

“Man of the air…limits exist only in the mind of people who are not able to dream”_ Philippe Petit

#04. How To Disappear Completely

How to disappear completely” reminded me of a dinner I had with a friend of mine. They invited us and we went even if we didn’t feel like. Everyone was enjoying, laughing and having a good time for things we simply didn’t fit in. And we passed from something like “what the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here” to “I’m not here, this is not happening”, hoping to get superpowers and disappear.

#05. Myxomatosis

Mixomatosis” is a disease that affects rabbits. Frank the bunny, in Donnie Darko, was a very diseased one.

#06. Stop Whispering

The words “Stop Whispering” made me think of someone who was yelling, angry, at a passive and shy person. In that moment I was listening to Bjork. I imagine she could say this to someone.

#07. We Suck Young Blood

We Suck Young Blood”: vampires, of course. And those in Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive” are my favorite and loved ones.

#08. Fitter Happier

With “Fitter Happier”, I had in mind the synthetic, mechanical, frozen voice of the song, and the image of a meditating man behind bars came to my mind. Rules and rules, and bars, to be happier. In a cage of rules.

#09. Bullet Proof (I Wish I Was)

For “Bullet Proof (I Wish I Was)” I imagined Neo stopping bullets in Matrix. But in the end I thought it was not Neo who wanted to be bullet proof, but the agent. Matrix is one of my favorite movies ever.

#10. Street Spirit (Fade Out)

If I try not to think of the lyrics and the amazing video of “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”, what I see is an old wise man living in the street, homeless, roaming. The spirit of the street, that lives in it, that has seen it all, that nobody cares for, and that slowly disappear, unseen.

#11. Anyone Can Play Guitar

I chose to draw Dave Grohl at the drums for “Anyone Can Play Guitar”: I remembered a talk with a friend of mine, I was asking him if he listened to the new Foo Fighters album, and the answer was: “Actually, I don’t like Foo Fighters so much. Because one of the best drummer in the world is in a band where he sings and plays guitar.” That friend of mine is a drummer, by the way.

#12. Where I End And You Begin

Where I End And You Begin” is a quite sad song. But the words in the title make me think of a place, the place where Love starts, a little dot in the space between two souls that can be filled only with Love, to create a connection of unity, understanding, exchange and growth. And this is where I end my project, and you begin seeing it.

Wall Painting: Roofs of Rome

Fiammetta, one of my biggest and dearest friends in Rome, owns a wonderful apartment, five minutes walk to Piazza Navona.

One day she decided to move – the city center is always overcrowded, and the position was not the best to reach her work place. So she decided to transform her apartment in a holiday-home, and we made it together.

It was a great project, and we made it amazingly: we met people from all over the world, got in touch with them helped to visit the city and filled them with suggestions ;)

In the living room you can find this painting: while she was preparing and arranging for our first guests, I was painting, standing on a chair.

We had a great time, my friend ♡

Painting on the wall is amazing :) And if you want to have me home for a while painting what you like, just give a shout! At least to know each other better ;)

Wall Painting: Miles Davis

It was during my penniless period in Rome. One of my student’s father saw my paintings and offered me a week in his b&b in Sardinia, by the sea, with a room all for me, delicious food, and probably some of the best beaches of the world.

In exchange of this guy here, painted on the wall, in acrylic. I had the time of my life, and the best travel mate ever, Fiammetta Cerreti, who documented the work in progress – wonderful soul and great artist and writer, who has been by my side in many other adventures and misadventures :D

Painting on the wall is amazing :) And if you want to have me home for a while painting what you like, just give a shout! At least to know each other better ;)

Manual of the Warrior of Light – Epilogue

After more than two years, my project is finished, and I illustrated the whole book! I’m excited, and now I’ll try to contact Paulo Coelho and see if he likes it

Thanks for following, liking and supporting! :) It’s been quite a journey!